10 Key Things I’ve Done Within in My SEO Business That Led To Great Success

I’ve worked with quite a few people now, providing coaching, consulting and other various forms of training and many of the problems I see are quite similar. SEO’s not getting paid, chasing overdue invoices, no processes, not being able to get clients and signing anyone up that comes along.

I posted about this recently over at SEO Signals Lab on Facebook – you can read the thread here – and shared a few key insights into what I’ve done within my own SEO business that has helped me do very well. That damn post blew up and 2 days later it’s still going strong with almost 700 likes and near 400 comments. Needless to say I’ve been absolutely slammed with messages from people asking for help and advice.

Anyway, you may not be able to access that group (or the post for that matter) without joining – so here’s what I posted below. 10 key things I’ve done within in my SEO business that has made a tremendous difference and provided me with great success.

I always get paid first

1. Always get paid first. I don’t care if I’m charging $2500 a month for SEO, or $10,000 for a website. I always demand payment in full, in advance. If you’re not getting paid first, you’ll be constantly chasing late payment and outstanding invoices.

I don’t undersell myself

2. I quote what I’m worth. I’ve spoken to a number of members here as well as my coaching clients and I’m amazed at how many are charging as little as $200 a month for SEO. This is absolute madness. Start charging what your worth. No discounts, no mates rates, no performance based nonsense.

I’ve built out processes for everything

3. Get processes in place for absolutely everything. You should never be “winging it” Your campaigns should flow like a checklist – do this, do that, etc etc. Everything you do should be built around set processes.

I don’t work with just anyone

4. Prequalify your leads. I turn at least half of my leads away. Why? Because they’re not a good fit. Their business is broken, they’re not making any money, they have unrealistic expectations or no marketing budgets. I don’t take anyone on unless I know they’re a good fit, and I am confident that I can get them an ROI.

Revenue, not rankings

5. I don’t track rankings as a performance indicator. Instead I track conversions. (customer enquiries, sales) This is KEY. I focus my efforts on dollar in, 3 dollars out – and helping the client make sales and get customers. That’s it. When you’re tracking conversions it changes everything – especially when a client can see they’re making $80,000 a month from a $2,500 a month investment. They’ll just keep throwing money at you.

I charge hourly

6. I charge an hourly rate for SEO. Why? Because its an easy upsell and its quantifiable (the client understands it too). One of the most common questions we all get as SEO’s is “how can we get results faster?” You can answer this question easily by saying “I can do 12 hours a month, or I can do 20 or more, of course the more time you put in, the more work we’ll get done and the faster you’ll see results” This is how I take a $2,500 a month client and turn them into a $4,000+ a month client.

I leverage the shit out of web rebuilds

7. Web rebuilds allowed me to go from $20,000+ a month to $50-60,000+ a month. If a prospect comes to me and their website is broken, then I’m not interested in working with them unless they fix it. I charge $8,500 for web builds (entry level)

I don’t do PDF proposals, or any proposals for that matter

8. I don’t do proposals, and haven’t done one in years. If you’re sending PDF proposals to leads you’re done for. Instead I prequalify on the phone following a script, then if the prospect is a good fit, I pitch them over a Powerpoint sales presentation where I cover everything and demonstrate massive value. My close rates doing this are 100%

I’m completely upfront with my rates

9. I put my prices on my website. This puts a stop to all that bullshit we get “how much does it cost” “that’s too expensive”. Anyone that picks up the phone and calls me is already prequalified.

I want fewer, higher paying clients

10. You can do half a million dollars a year, with less than 20 clients and 4 virtual staff. I do, and have done for years. Aim for fewer, higher paying clients, because in my experience, the loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats.

Private Blog Networks – Do They Work Or Is it all Bullshit?

About 5 years ago I bought into the whole private blog network thing, otherwise known as a “PBN”

I guess at the time, I made the mistake of thinking “Well everyone else is doing it, so I guess I should too”.

Stupid.

I spent about a year dicking around buying up sites, expired domains, sorting out hosting and in the process I wasted a lot of time and money. I remember circle jerking with other SEO colleagues about how life was going to be wonderful once I had my own private blog network and how I was going to “dominate Google”. That never happened, and in the end I ditched the whole thing, eventually realising that it was nothing more than a total waste of time.

I’ll share my thoughts more on that in a moment, but for now, I want to touch on a few things about private blog networks, what they are, why people use them and also look at a few pros and cons.

What the fuck is a private blog network?

So for those that don’t know or aren’t up to speed with a lot of this SEO jargon, a private blog network, or “PBN” is essentially a collection of websites owned or controlled by a certain individual or company, built out for the sole purpose of hosting links. In other words, its a shit load of sites, usually full of crappy content that are used specifically for backlinking.

A private blog network can be an effective strategy (when done right) as it’s essentially based upon the core foundation of how Google ranks websites – via links.

Whilst that might seem relatively straight forward, there are some catches.

Let’s look at some of the upsides and downsides to using a PBN.

Advantages of using a private blog network

The advantages of using a private blog network are numerous, here’s just a few.

Getting quality links is hard

Notice I said “quality” there?

Sure, getting shit links is a piece of cake, but who wants that crap? Crap links aren’t going to help you at all. Everybody knows that.

So how do you get good quality links? You either put out a shit load of high quality content and earn those links, or you spend hours and hours performing outreach – OR BOTH.

The problem with that is that it means doing work, and most people are lazy. They’re constantly looking for shortcuts, and if there’s a shortcut, most people will take it. That shortcut is of course a PBN.

Advantage – it makes getting links easier.

Link building takes a lot of time

For anyone that’s ever spent time trying to get links, you’ll already know that it can be incredibly time consuming. Performing outreach, reverse engineering, asking for links….it goes on and on. You can waste an entire day just fucking around with your head buried in a spreadsheet or sending emails and getting nothing else done.

In addition to that, if it’s a large scale digital marketing agency, there’s no time to be fucking around chasing links. It’s a process that needs to happen quickly, otherwise it’s too time intensive and becomes unprofitable.

Advantage – it saves a lot of time.

Control

Unlike natural links, where you have no say over how those links might appear (anchor text and so forth) having your own PBN gives you total control. Control over the how many links are built, the anchor text used, anchor text ratios and of course placement (sites with high DA etc)

Having control is a good thing because if Google decides to move the goal posts, you can quickly jump in and go about changing literally hundreds of backlinks instantly – without having to contact site owners or spend time fucking around with disavows. A sizeable PBN can also act as a great test bed to perform research into what works and what doesn’t.

Advantage – you can change your link profile quickly, at any given time.

Let’s now have a look at some of the disadvantages.

Disadvantages of using a private blog network

Now before you go running off to Sedo to buy up a shit load of expired domains, hear me out.

Building, running and operating a PBN isn’t easy, especially if you intend on building a big one. It also comes with it’s own set of problems and of course, risk.

Most private blog networks aren’t fucking private

It’s a bit ironic isn’t it?

They’re called “private blog networks”, but they’re advertised everywhere. “Buy our PBN links. Safe, guaranteed rankings, DA this, PR that. Just $25”.

Total nonsense.

The only true private blog networks are the ones you never hear about. They’re run and operated by that weird guy you see at the local library occasionally picking his nose on the public access computers. Not the one you found on the first page of Google where you paid $80 for 3 links with high fucking DA.

If you’re buying links or using a service built around a private blog network where anyone has access, then its not fucking private.

And guess what?

If you have access, then it’s likely that half the web spam team at Google do, too.

Disadvantage – most aren’t private at all which means they’re wide open

There’s risk involved

You might feel clever boasting on some forum about how you built a private blog network and hit the first page of Google for “fluffy bunnies” in one weekend, or how you’re selling a “PBN course on Udemy for $11”, but that shit’s going to come crashing down around you eventually, just like every other loophole that Google closes.

What then?

You’re going to find yourself over at Reddit, whinging about how Google is evil and how life isn’t fair.

Disadvantage – your hair will fall out because you’re constantly worrying about shit

You can get slammed at any minute

This might sound a bit dramatic, but all it takes is for someone to reverse engineer your network, (including Google) and it’s game over. All that time, money and effort is gone. Everything.

And not only that, any sites interlinked with that network are gone too.

I recall a few years ago I managed to reverse engineer a huge private blog network where the owner had stupidly added the same Google Analytics tracking code across every single site. I detected 80 odd sites within 10 minutes. What made it worse is that I knew this particular person was selling links and promoting it as “high quality SEO”.

Fucking stupid.

Disadvantage – you can lose everything, and there’s nothing you can do about it

Why I decided to ditch my own private blog network

Having said all of that, I want to share my thoughts on private blog networks and why I ditched mine. I’m also going to share with you what I do now, which I’ve found to be much much easier, cheaper and a lot less stressful.

I realised I didn’t need one

Look, I get it. I understand that if you’re running a massive SEO agency, then performing manual outreach etc in an effort to get links, just isn’t viable. Especially if you have hundreds and hundreds of clients. In that case, a private blog network is probably more of a necessity than anything. But if you’re running a small operation, or if you’re a freelance SEO, you shouldn’t need a PBN at all.

I soon realised that I didn’t need to build out a private blog network, and it wasn’t until I was up to my armpits in alligators doing it that I stopped and thought, “This is ridiculous, there’s got to be an easier way” – and there was.

It was a fucking hassle

Building out and running a private blog network is a total pain in the ass.

I think I got up to about 28 sites before I thought to myself “This sucks balls”. It might seem easy enough – just buy a few expired domains with some authority, build out a few sites, slap up some shitty content and hey presto – PBN.

But it’s not that easy. It takes time, effort and work.

Here’s just a few things that I found myself wasting countless hours on –

  • Monitoring expired domains
  • Buying domains
  • Building out sites
  • Maintaining the sites
  • Checking SEO metrics
  • Creating and uploading content
  • Organising hosting, paying for hosting
  • Digging through stupid spreadsheets
  • and on and on…..

In the end I realised that it was just fucking noise and I didn’t need it.

It was a waste of my time

The amount of time and effort it takes to buy domains, build sites, organise hosting, update sites, add and publish content all adds up. Towards the end, just before I ditched everything I was spending about 90% of my time fucking around with stupid shit. Ironically it ended up being more time consuming than traditional link building and outreach.

It bored me to tears

I don’t know, perhaps its just me, but I never enjoyed building out crappy sites full of rubbish content just for the sake of getting links. It was dull, boring and time consuming and it shit me to tears.

I had stupid costs

I was told to “just use SEO hosting” so I could have all my sites on one server. That way I could save money by having one host, instead of several.

But having a background in IT, I knew that shit was surely trackable. Okay okay, we could argue over various IP classes and all that other nonsense but whatever. I wasn’t interested in spending all that time money and effort only to have my sites slammed by Google. So I split my hosting up all over the place and in the end I was spending a small fortune on hosting.

I got sick of worrying

Every morning I would wake up wondering if my sites had been slammed. I would literally check each site every few days to make sure they were still indexed, and that I hadn’t been hit with some sort of penalty.

Absolutely stupid.

A better way

What I do now couldn’t be easier.

I hired a virtual assistant, gave him a list of industries in a notepad file, a blank spreadsheet and said “Here, use these search query operators and go out there and find me as many sites as possible that accept guest posts.”

I paid him a measly $10 an hour to do that, and compile a spreadsheet of what now consists of more than 2,000 sites, split up into dedicated categories, such as travel, sport, food, automotive, health etc of sites that accept guest contributions.

In other words, I’m no longer fucking around trying to build fake sites that look real, but instead, I’m just using real fucking sites.

So now, when it comes to getting links quickly, I refer to my spreadsheet, I pick out several sites, I have content created, I pass it over to my virtual assistant, who then handles all the interaction with the site owner and it gets done, while I’m enjoying a caramel latte down at the local cafe.

No fucking around with websites, no mucking around buying domains or worrying about “getting caught”.

It works, I get great links, and it all happens seamlessly without any fuss.

In Summary

Private blog networks can and do work. I’m not going to sit here and say they don’t. There have been plenty of case studies that show how PBN’s can work, and they do. At the end of the day, I’m not saying that no one should be using private blog networks. Do whatever the fuck you want. I couldn’t care less. One thing I do know however, is that PBN’s aren’t for me.

Let me know what you think by posting a comment below and we can start an argument on the internet.

Are Listings in Directories Good or Bad for SEO?

If we think back to the very early days of the web (pre Google) some of us might remember how web directories were used to search and find useful information online. Infact, this is exactly how Yahoo started back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t a search engine, it was a directory.

It might seem somewhat primitive now, but back in the day, directories served a pivotal role, in that they –

  • helped regular web users find stuff on the web
  • helped site owners get found

Needless to say, a lot has changed since then, and whilst many directories still remain, the way in which we now use them has changed a lot.

Web directories and SEO

For many years a popular strategy amongst site owners was to simply submit their sites to as many web directories as possible. This was a quick and easy way of getting links.

The intention here was to improve search engine visibility and potentially boost rankings.

This method was popular for many reasons, with the main ones being –

  • It was low cost
  • It worked
  • It was easy to do
  • It didn’t involve a great deal of work

What’s really interesting to note is that many years ago, Google actually encouraged webmasters to do this. (see below)

That snippet was taken from Google’s own “Webmaster Guidelines“. It should be noted that the section I have highlighted here has since been removed.

It goes without saying though, that whenever Google makes a recommendation (especially with something that might help boost rankings) that a lot of people lose their minds and go mental with it. When that happens, things always end up getting way out of hand. This is exactly what happened after years and years of continual misuse and abuse.

Site owners became obsessed with submitting their sites to as many directories as possible, regardless of quality or relevancy.

After some time, Google decided enough was enough and started devaluing links from directories, removing directories from their index, and in some cases where the submissions were so poor, sending site owners unnatural link warnings and applying penalties. (note – typically this was due to a completely unnatural link profile that was over optimised with excessive usage of a particular money term)

In the end, the whole thing became one big giant mess, leaving many scratching their heads wondering – what now?

Are listing in directories good or bad for SEO?

Not too long ago at a business networking event, I was asked, “John, should I list my website in directories? Are they any good for SEO, or should I avoid doing that?”

It seems obvious that many site owners are still unsure about listing their sites within directories. Perhaps it’s because they’re concerned they might get hit with a penalty, or perhaps it’s because they don’t see any real value in it, or perhaps it’s just that they don’t know where to start.

The answer to this question is both – submitting your site to directories can be both GOOD and BAD. It depends on which directories you submit to, how you go about submitting, your intent, and the approach you take.

So what should we do?

Let’s take a closer look below.

Sending the right signals to Google

I often talk about how SEO has changed over the past few years, and how SEO means more than just having a great site, some links and a bit of content. It’s about much much more than that. Google is smart enough to know that the web has changed, and as a result, they know that they have to start taking more factors into consideration as part of the way in which they assess and rank websites.

For instance, whilst there is no way of knowing with absolute certainty, it’s likely that Google may be looking at social signals, citations, onpage elements, inbound metrics, user engagement levels, click through rates within the SERPS and more. It’s believed that they are indeed looking at many of these elements, if not all.

The fact of the matter is this – Google are looking for external signals in an effort to determine, trust, quality and site credibility – because they’re the types of sites they want performing well in the search results. Again, it all comes back to user experience.

But what is considered “quality”?

Quality can be interpreted in many different ways, but I’d like to focus on two elements that I believe really come into play when it comes to directories.

They are, trust and credibility.

If you think about it, any site that is listed within a number of reputable directories is more than likely going to be a trusted source. Especially when that listing carries –

  • A phone number
  • An email address (or other means of direct contact)
  • An ABN or registered business number
  • A postal address (physical location)
  • Hours of operation
  • Feedback and or customer reviews

Of course it’s possible to submit a spammy site to a lot of directories, but I’m talking about directories that are heavily moderated and submissions go through a strict approval process. For example, sites like Yellow Pages, True Local, Hot Frog, Start Local, White Pages and so on.

Directories like this play an important role, in that they send the right signals to Google about your website…. “Hey, we are a legitimate business with contacts and a physical address”.

This is how you need to think about using directories – NOT simply for links.

Which directories should I list in?

Okay, so I’ve mentioned a few directories already and I’ll cover more in a moment, but firstly, here are some key points to take into consideration before you get started.

List in directories that are heavily moderated

Sites that scream “List here for FREE, anyone and everyone accepted!” are the types of directories you’ll want to avoid. It’s ALWAYS best to submit to directories that have someone actually sitting at the other end checking each listing to ensure that it’s legitimate. You’ll want to list your site within directories that must pass through an approval process. Most sites like this usually take a few days for your listing to be approved. Some actually call or send a text, as part of their approval process.

List in directories that are a paid service

There are a number of paid services, such as business.com.au who charge $90 a year for a listing. Sites like this are always worth submitting to as they heavily moderate everything that comes in. It’s also less likely that anyone building a spammy site will spend the money to list in a directory that requires payment. I’ll cover some more paid options below.

List in directories that are well known

It’s always best to list your site within well known directories, such as Yellow Pages, and avoid unknown brands or sites that look questionable.

List in “niche” specific directories

Whilst there are plenty of main stream commercial type directories available to list in, with a little bit of searching, you can often find highly targeted “niche” specific directories to submit to also. Submitting to directories like this is extremely valuable, because they’re HIGHLY relevant. For example, I just performed a quick search in Google using “metal fabricator” + directory and found this listing here. For any company operating in the metal fabrication industry, this would be absolutely perfect.

Don’t forget, you can use Google search query operators to find industry specific directories (see below)

Keyword +”add your business”/”list your business”
Keyword + directory
Keyword + directory + add/submit/suggest/post
Keyword + intitle:”directory”
Keyword+ inurl:”directory”
Keyword + Listings

Directories that I recommend

Here are my recommendations for free directories –

Here are my recommendations for paid directories –

Best practices before you start

One of the most common problems I find when working with business owners when it comes to directories, is that they’ll have –

  • numerous listings all over the place
  • no idea of usernames and passwords
  • old listings with incorrect information

The best way to stay on top of everything is to use ONE email account for all of your directory submissions. I usually encourage business owners to create a generic account for stuff like this, as many directories will send you unwanted promotions and crap – and you won’t want that cluttering up your primary email accounts inbox. You might want to setup an account called “admin@yourdomain.com.au” or something of that nature.

Once, you’ve done that, grab this spreadsheet here, which will allow you to keep track of all your listings, usernames and passwords. Trust me, if ever your details change, you’ll want to be able to refer back to this quickly so you can update your listings.

Having said that, you’ll also want to prepare your submissions ahead in advance. Most directories ask for the same information over again, so it’s always best to have this stuff prepared.

I would have the following information at the ready –

  • Title of your business
  • Account information for the submission process (email account etc)
  • Contact email address
  • Business phone number
  • ABN or business registration number
  • Hours of operation
  • Social media links
  • Your business description
  • Business logo
  • A number of business related images

Most sites ask for a short description as well as a long one, so be sure to have both ready. You also might want to make up a few variations of your business description. Don’t just submit the same piece of text over and over to each directory. You’ll want to change it up for each one and make sure each listing description is unique.

Best practices when submitting your website

Link using your brand name or web address

Always link using your business or brand name, or if you can’t do that, just link using your actual web address (URL). Avoid the temptation to link using keywords. You shouldn’t be linking using keywords as part of this process, it’s not necessary.

Use unique business descriptions and summaries

As mentioned above, its always best when submitting your site to directories, to use unique descriptions. Don’t just copy and paste the same business description to each directory. You want each submission to be unique.

Avoid using software or paid services to submit your site

A friend said to me recently, “I just use XYZ services to do all my directory listings, it’s easy”.

This might seem like an easy way out, but it’s rarely worth it. From what I’ve seen, a lot of organisations offering directory submissions like this, will end up submitting your site to all sorts of junk sites.

You’ll want to know that your submissions are 100% spot on, submitted only to high quality relevant directories, contain unique descriptions, your contact details are correct, and that you’re easily able to login later if you need to, to update them. Don’t try to cut corners using services or automated software. Do it right.

Quality over quantity

You might be thinking, “Well if I submit my site to more directories, this should give a bigger boost in terms of SEO, yes?”

Not entirely true.

Think quality over quantity. You’re always much better off submitting your site to fewer high quality, relevant directories, than you are submitting your site to a lot of crappy ones.

Which directories should I avoid?

Whilst I can’t list every single crappy directory here in this article, I can give you some quick tips as to which directories you might want to avoid.

Here are just a few –

  • Avoid listing in too many “free directories”
  • Avoid listing in directories that require a reciprocal link
  • Avoid listing in directories where your listing goes live immediately (no moderation process)
  • Avoid listing in directories where they are a LOT of low quality sites listed
  • Avoid listing in non English speaking directories
  • Avoid listing in directories stuffed full of ads and other nonsense

Will listing in directories give me an SEO boost?

Okay, the final, and probably the most important question of all – will listing in directories give me an SEO boost?

The truth of the matter is, no – probably not.

Infact, the difference will be most likely unnoticeable.

BUT, is it worth doing? Absolutely.

Send the right signals to Google and think long term.

Submitting your site to business directories is just one spoke in the ever expanding wheel of SEO.

Conclusion

What really matters when it comes to listing in directories, is INTENT.

What’s your WHY?

  • If you’re listing in directories simply to try and get better rankings, you’re doing it wrong
  • If you’re listing in directories in an effort to create backlinks, you’re doing it wrong
  • If you’re listing in directories, purely for SEO purposes, you’re doing it wrong

You should ONLY be listing in directories, so that your customers can find you.

Yes listing in directories may help your SEO efforts, but from my experience, the impact of listing in directories – even paid ones, is barely noticeable.

Sure, list in the biggest and most reputable ones (and of course any that are highly relevant) then get to creating a great site, and publishing kick ass content that people will love, share and engage with.

If you have something to say, I want to hear it. Perhaps you’d like to add something? Perhaps there’s a directory that I’ve missed? If so, post up your thoughts or comments below, and let me know what you think.

How To Maintain Google Rankings and Traffic During a Site Upgrade or Redesign

Site redesigns can be both a fun and daunting experience.

Fun in the sense that it’s often an enjoyable experience from a design point of view. That being of course, looking at new colours, new layouts, styles and perhaps even adding new features or elements to make your website perform better or look more visually appealing.

Daunting in the sense that if you get it wrong, you could end up ruining everything.

When it comes to redesigning your site, there’s an awful lot to consider, especially for larger, well established sites that receive a lot of traffic from Google. Let’s face it, the last thing you want to do is lose your rankings along with all of your traffic.

This is where the thought of changing anything can raise concerns such as –

  • If I upgrade my website, will I lose my rankings in Google?
  • We’re first page position 1 for the keyword “XYZ” in Google, if we upgrade our website, will we lose that spot?
  • How can I upgrade my website and NOT lose all of our rankings and Google traffic?

These are all great questions, and certainly concerns that any site owner should have ahead of performing a major site redesign.

What happens when you get it wrong

Take a look at the graphic below. This is a screenshot of a site redesign that went terribly wrong.

Bit worrying isn’t it?

That’s close to 6,000 visitors per day down to nothing. Ouch.

So what can cause this to happen?

Typically a huge drop in traffic like this can be the result of –

  • An incorrectly set robots.txt file
  • It could be a buggy htaccess file
  • It could be an incorrectly set DNS entry
  • An incorrect setting within a WordPress plugin, OR
  • …it could be the simple fact that whoever built and launched the new site did absolutely no planning whatsoever

In most cases however, the main reason I see sites tank like this, is simply because 301 redirects weren’t implemented.

Sidenote – If you’re just changing the design of your website, and the actual site structure (along with all page names etc) aren’t being changed, then there’s no need to implement 301 redirects, or follow any of the advice provided below. However if you are making considerable changes to your website and everything is changing including page names and your site structure, then it is absolutely imperative that you follow the advice I’ve outlined in this article.

What are 301 redirects?

Google provides the following explanation

If you need to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results, we recommend that you use a server-side 301 redirect. This is the best way to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct page. The 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location.

In other words, you’re telling Google, “Hey, this page no longer lives here anymore, here is it’s new location”

This is important because if anyone clicks on your page in the search results, and you’ve just gone about changing your entire website – chances are they’re going to land on a “404 page not found” error page and leave. That’s not good.

So by implementing 301 redirects, we are both preserving our traffic, and ensuring we take every possible precaution in an effort to NOT lose our rankings.

Phase 1 – New site build considerations

Understand exactly WHY you’ve decided to rebuild your site in the first place

I see a lot of site owners decide they want to upgrade or rebuild their websites for the wrong reasons. I’ve heard –

  • We just want a change, we’re bored with it
  • Our competitors site looks much nicer
  • We don’t like the blue

None of these reasons really mean much. Instead, as a site owner, you should be pushing ahead with a site redesign for some of the following reasons –

  • Our site doesn’t work on mobile, we need to fix that
  • Our site isn’t optimised for search engines
  • Our hosting is awful, we need to move and we may as well fix our site too as its very old
  • Our site is extremely user unfriendly, and its costing us in revenue

In other words, make sure you’re changing your site for the right reasons.

SEO before “web design”

When it comes to building your new site, your SEO guy (or agency) should be directing the build – NOT your web guy. This is an all too common mistake. A web developer builds out a site that looks absolutely brilliant, then when its looked at by an SEO company, they’ll say, “This things a mess, you need to rebuild your site”.

Always be sure to put SEO ahead of web design (aesthetics) Most important of all is your site structure. Your site structure is critical, and should be based around a) solid keyword research b) reverse engineering your competitors.

Make changes to your site inline with what your data tells you

Always have a good understanding of how your site is performing before you go ahead with a site rebuild. By this I mean,  You should know –

  • How much traffic you’re getting
  • How much the site is generating in monthly revenue
  • What your conversion rates are
  • The cost of customer aquisition
  • Overall search positioning, and
  • Other metrics of interest such as bounce rates, time on site, return visits, abandonment rates etc

You’ll want to know your numbers before you start pulling everything apart.

Take a look at Google Analytics, assess the data, take notes. Consider gathering additional data using Crazy Egg or Clicktale to get a better idea of which design elements are working and which aren’t. The more information you have, the easier it will be to upgrade the website, because you will know exactly what’s working, what’s broken and what needs to be improved upon.

Always make sure the rebuild means making an improvement on your sites performance. Don’t go backwards. There’s little point making your site “look pretty” if it kills your traffic, conversion rates or engagement times.

Your existing website should NEVER be offline

One of the most important parts of any site upgrade or redesign, is to ensure that you minimize any potential outages or downtime. Of course there are bound to be moments during the changeover that the site might be inaccessible, but that’s to be expected. However, your site should not be down for any lengthy periods of time that could result in a loss of business. The last thing you want to do is to have your site down for a week while you “finalise a few design elements”. Oh, and never ever take the site down and use a “website under construction” splash page – especially if you have well established rankings and traffic.

Build your new site in a live test environment

The most effective and efficient ways of building out a new site, without taking down your existing site, is to build it within a test environment. What works really well is to just register any old domain name – something like – xyztestwebsites.com.au or something – and then go about building your new site there. You may even want to consider separate hosting as well. Infact I have done just this. I have a dummy domain setup and use Digital Pacific to host my test sites, while we build them for clients.

The advantages of building your new site in a test environment include –

  • No disruptions to your business
  • No outages or downtime to your existing website
  • You can test features and design elements “live” and see how they perform/look
  • You can have the new site 100% ready to go, before you flip the switch
  • You’re not pushed to crazy deadlines and getting stressed about “getting the site up” because you’re losing business

Set a “block all” robots.txt file during the development of the new site

This is REALLY important. Especially if the content on the new site is EXACTLY the same as the old site. You DO NOT want Google crawling two instances of your site across two different domains. If this happens, Google may decide to drop one or both of the domains from its index, because it might flag your site with a “duplicate” content penalty.

To do this, you’ll want to set the following snippet of code in your robots.txt file

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

The “User-agent: *” means this section applies to all robots. The “Disallow: /” tells the robot that it should not visit any pages on the site.

For more information on robots.txt files, and how to set them up, go here.

Be clear about the desired outcome

Lastly, have a good idea of what you’re trying to achieve as part of the outcome. Is it to increase conversion rates? Is it to better emphasize your call to action? Is it to make your site responsive? Or is it just to “freshen up the sites outdated look”. How you measure your efforts should tie in with what your initial objections were.

Phase 2 – Preparing the 301 redirects

Okay, by now the new site should be completed, tested and you’re getting ready to go live with the new site. From here, you’ll need to start preparing your 301’s.

For this process, I use the following tools and software –

To begin with, we will want to prepare a master spreadsheet. This will help us prepare our 301’s for the changeover. The purpose behind this spreadsheet is simple – we want to be able to go through our URLs one at a time, be able to see them visually, (double check them) and ensure we have them set correctly before we launch.

Download this one I prepared for you. It will save you some time. When you open it, it should look like this.

What do the columns mean?

  • Redirect – Don’t worry about this for now, that’s just the syntax that’s required as part of the command. We’ll come back to this later
  • Old URL – The URL of the existing website (the old one)
  • New URL – The URL of the new site (the one that is in the test environment)
  • Transitional URL – This is where we will be pulling data from, into the new URL (you’ll see in just a moment)
  • Notes – For making annotations where necessary

Ok, so now in order to fill this spreadsheet in, we will need a complete snapshot of every single URL on both the old site, and the new site. The fastest and most efficient way of collecting this data is to run it through Screaming Frog.

To do this, we just enter in the web address of the old site (and the new site) and click on START. Screaming Frog will then scan our site and return all of the sites URL’s as follows.

Once Screaming Frog has finished scanning the entire site, we can then EXPORT the list of URLs, as follows.

This then allows us to view our listing of URLs in one nice clean spreadsheet like this.

From here it’s a no brainer. Just copy the first column that has all the URLs in it from this spreadsheet and put it into the master spreadsheet.

Be sure to put the old URLs under old URLs and put the new URLs under ‘transitional URLs’.

Once you’ve done that, your master spreadsheet should look like this. You’ll have the old URLs, the new URLs (which will be blank at this stage) and the ‘transitional URLs’

Lastly, you’ll want to go through your spreadsheet and copy the transitional URLs over to the new URLs column WHERE they match. This means, you’ve looked at the old URL and matched it against where the new page now lives.

Okay from here, we will want to focus our attention just on the old URLs and the new URLs. Before going any further its important that you understand how to format your redirect. Have a look below.

The correct way to format our request is as follows –

Redirect 301 /category_108/Wedding-Cermony.htm http://favourperfect.com.au/category/weddings/wedding-cermony/

What’s happening here?

  • Firstly, the redirect command which is “Redirect 301”. This tells Google it’s a permanent redirect.
  • Secondly, the old URL. You can see in this case, the old URL has the domain stripped out. So we’re actually redirecting http://favourperfect.com.au/category_108/Wedding-Cermony.htm, but it’s displayed only as /category_108/Wedding-Cermony.htm
  • Lastly, the full path of the new URL, which is http://favourperfect.com.au/category/weddings/wedding-cermony/

Got it? Great, let’s move on.

The easiest way to then make this change to our spreadsheet is to highlight the old URL column and do a “find and replace”, where we will remove the domain.

Once we’ve stripped out the domain name from that column, we should be left with something that looks like this.

Now the fun part.

Copy all of the data out of your spreadsheet and paste it straight into a notepad file.

Your notepad file should look like this.

In order to ensure we don’t have any “funky” spacing or irregularities in our text, we’ll head over to Text mechanic to clean it up. Text mechanic is a great online tool that will help us ensure our spacing is correct.

Copy the text file and paste it into this tool (remove extra spaces)

You should now see your 301 redirects all tidied up without any additional spacing. Copy the output and paste it back into your notepad file and SAVE it AS A CSV FILE. This now completes the preparation of your 301 redirects.

Phase 4 – Launching the new site

Scheduling the changeover

Scheduling the changeover is vital. Never ever, try and change a site during a busy time. Always, always schedule the changeover during a Saturday night or Sunday lunchtime or a time where the site is at it’s least busiest. For most of my clients, I perform the changeover on a Friday or Saturday around midnight. Doing this will ensure that you minimise any potential disruptions to normal business operations.

Having everyone on standby

Something else to be mindful is to ensure that you have everyone on standby while the change is being performed. This might include the site owner, any IT staff, and of course your team and anyone else that may be needed to assist. Typically if something is going to go wrong, it will go wrong when you least expect it, so have a few people around to give you a hand. Plus it’s good to have a few sets of eyeballs looking at things as you go. You will want to have others around to help you with initial testing.

Don’t forget email

Email is usually always something that is overlooked during a site upgrade. This may not be something you’ll need to think about, but if you’re changing hosts as part of the upgrade, then chances are, you’ll need to check to make sure your email is working.

Preparing for rollback

Always pull the old site down and back it up. Always ensure that you can (if necessary) rollback. That is, put the old site back in place, should anything go wrong. Don’t ever just delete the old site and think everything is going to go smoothly. Infact, you should keep a backup of your old site indefinitely, anyway.

Speed of changeover

I remember someone asking me once, “Should we just do small bits and pieces of the changeover, or should we do the whole lot in one hit?”

The answer to this is, get the changeover done as quickly as possible in one hit. You don’t want to cause any level of confusion for Google or your visitors as to whats going on. You want the process to be fast and clean. Pull the old site down, get the new site in place, then implement your 301 redirects and test.

Implementing the redirects

As soon as the new site is up, you’ll want to activate your 301 redirects immediately. Take your 301 redirect file and do the following.

Log into the new site, go down to SEO (Yoast plugin) and select ‘Tools’

Then select ‘File Editor’

Then paste your 301’s in here.

WARNING – MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP YOUR HTACCESS FILE BEFORE YOU CHANGE ANYTHING IN HERE. IF YOU GET THIS WRONG, YOU COULD SCREW UP THE ENTIRE SITE. To back it up, just copy the contents of what’s in this text area and save it to a notepad file. Then paste in your 301 redirects as I have shown below.

It should then look something like this.

Phase 5 – Site monitoring and ongoing refinements

Okay, so by now the new site is up, the 301’s are in place and everything appears to be going well. So what should we be looking at to ensure nothing is broken? Here’s a few things you should be keeping an eye on and taking care of.

Implement tracking codes

Be sure not to forget to get your tracking codes in place on the new site. This might include Google Analytics, and other software that you use to monitor site performance. You might also want to think about setting up or checking your goals (conversion tracking)

Test in Google directly

This is something that I do, because I am VERY particular about testing and ensuring that everything is RIGHT. I don’t care if a site has 10 pages, or 5,000, I spend the time to do this because you’ll want to find out about it now, and have the opportunity to fix it, rather than be kicking yourself 3 months later for NOT fixing it.

Go to Google and type in site:domainname.com.au

Of course change “domainname.com.au” with the URL of the website you’ve just upgraded. You should get a complete listing of all the sites indexed pages in Google. Go through each one of those URLs, click on them and make sure you are successfully redirected to the new page. If you’re not, then double check your redirects – there is obviously a problem.

Keep an eye on Webmaster tools

Under “Search Analytics”, you’ll want to keep an eye on both “avg position” and “impressions”. Look for any noticeable “dips” and take corrective measures where necessary.

Conclusion

When you change a site, you should always take precautions in order to prevent any losses in traffic or rankings. However, there will always be the potential for fluctuations. Infact, fluctuations are normal when upgrading or revamping a site. That’s pretty common. This happens because Google is going through your site and trying to “reorganise its index” to reflect the changes. The time it takes for this process to complete varies depending upon a) the size of your site, and b) the complexity and nature of your site.

For most sites that I work on, the process is usually completed within 2-3 weeks, sometimes sooner – especially for smaller sites.

But note ….

If you launch a site, and things go bad, you have just a few days to salvage things. Once the site falls off a cliff and goes beyond a certain point, then the damage is done. You’ve lost traffic, you’ve lost rankings – and it will take some effort to get that back. This is why it is SO important to plan out the redesign ahead of making the change.

As always if you’ve found this information useful I would really appreciate some social love. Please leave any comments you might have below, and I’ll respond personally.

5 SEO Clients You Definitely Need to Avoid

When it comes to getting clients in your seo business, you’ll no doubt, end up attracting all sorts. Those that pay early, those that pay late, and those that don’t pay at all. Then there’s those that whinge about anything and everything including the most trivial of matters. Then of course there’s those that take off on holidays in the middle of a project and others that will email you 2,916 times a day.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Something I learnt quickly from the start was that I had to “pre-qualify” my leads better during the initial meeting, but I’ll touch more on that in just a bit.

For now, the harsh reality is you gotta get smarter about who you choose to work with – or else you’ll be punching monitors and breaking keyboards.

Now don’t get me wrong. Its not all bad. Some clients are fantastic. They pay on time, they’re more than polite and they always make their best efforts to help out. Others however, are just plain aggravating. It’s no denying that any type of business can be difficult to run when you’re working with painful clients. Especially those that make your job harder than it needs to be.

That’s why you need to start fucking them off.

Yes, you read that right. I’m not going to sugar coat it.

Now it may not seem logical from the outset. Infact it probably doesn’t make much sense to suggest getting rid of clients at all, but let me tell you – more clients doesn’t necessarily always mean more money and happiness. It might just mean more frustrations.

Lets face it. building a client base is part of any successful business. However when clients become more of a liability than an asset, it’s time to get rid of them. Firing a client can in some ways, help to grow your business.

For me, getting rid of dead beat clients in many cases was definitely the right thing to do.

Below, I’m going to take a closer look at 5 types of clients that you must simply avoid at all costs – or, if it’s too late and you’ve already begun pulling your hair out – get rid of them ASAP Your business depends upon it, and so does your sanity.

Here they are, 5 types of clients that will do your head in if you let them

The Haggler

This is the all too common client that wants to negotiate the price on a packet of 30 cent chewing gum at the local service station. Typically there’s lots of face scrunching and head scratching when they look over your quote. Followed by “Gee, I dunno…$2,000 a month seems like quite a lot. My brother in law said it should cost about $180”.

These types of clients are the worst. Just thinking about them annoys me. To me, there’s nothing more insulting than someone questioning my rates, my worth, and then asking me to justify my pricing. I find it quite rude. Anyone who starts “haggling” the pricing structure of your quote is definitely someone you want to avoid at all costs And of course, if it’s all too late, and they’re already annoying you with continual “too expensive, got no money…” type emails, then ditch.

My advice here is to always put your prices on your website. It puts an immediate stop to lolly scramblers picking up the phone and annoying you.

The Egotistical Moron

I consider myself a professional, and I run my business accordingly. I purposely left my full time job and my nagging boss that enjoyed treating everyone like school children for a reason. I’ve also invested quite a lot into my education and learning so I have complete confidence in what I do. I may not be running a multi million dollar business, but to me, that doesn’t matter. I do my best, and I do it with dignity and pride.

Having said that, there’s always an armchair expert who seems to enjoy belittling you just for kicks. These are typically the clients that imply that your seo business is an insignificant little home business, where nothing is of importance. Whilst their international real estate agency of 4,500 employees stands to lose $180,000 a day if you muck something up.

They often talk down their noses at you, and make comments such as “I’ve read a few books on SEO, and I know how easy the work is, so don’t try and tell us it’s a difficult and complicated process.” Or worse still, they’ll tell you how to do your job.

That I cannot stand. If you have so much knowledge, why did you hire me?

Seriously, I’ve experienced these types of clients myself. And in most cases, the comments they’ve made during the first 5 minutes were enough for me to decline the work. Regardless of what they’re paying, clients that speak to you in a condescending tone, aren’t worth the hassle.

Ditch their asses.

The Slacker

These clients are quite possibly the most common out of them all. They have this “hurry up and wait” mentality that does my head in. Often, they’ll call and start making immediate demands. “John, we need this stuff straight away, can you come in and meet with us?”

Whilst this isn’t something I do a lot now, when I first started out, I would drop everything and rush straight over. So after having reorganised my day, my schedule, and sat through a 3 hour meeting, I return to my office only to then realise I’ve pretty much lost a whole day.

Then of course, once I begin the requested work that was of the “utmost importance and priority”, the client becomes strangely evasive. Especially when the invoice is due.

“Oh sorry, Glen’s not in the office at the moment, can I get him to call you back?” or “I’m really busy at the moment John, I’ll have to get back to you later…”

2 months later and I still haven’t heard back. And whats worse is that I either cant complete the work requested until I receive either more information from the client or I’m left with an unpaid invoice and someone making continual excuses for non payment.

I don’t know how many clients I’ve had like this that have gone seriously hot and cold in the matter of minutes. One minute they need it yesterday, then the next it seems like a distant priority.

When it comes to payment especially, have a zero tolerance policy.

My advice?

Ditch their asses, fast.

The Screamer

This is a client that seems to enjoy calling you a retarded asshole in every email. And for some reason in capital letters too. They usually expect you to be a physic medium with brain reading abilities – not just an seo consultant.

“No John, that’s not what I meant, you should’ve known I wanted it this way you f#@king four eyed moron!”

Seriously, I shake my head almost wishing I hadn’t experienced this myself. But unfortunately I have. It’s funny how someone you are trying to actually help is calling you an asshole in every 3rd email. Especially when you know that they’ll undoubtedly follow up months later asking for more help – but this time they have to be “overly nice” to compensate for being so rude.

One thing I don’t tolerate is abuse. I don’t care who it is or what it’s over. If I’ve made a mistake, then let’s be professional about it. Ask me to correct it, but do it in a mature way. There’s no point in name calling. What, …are we still in pre school? This is most definitely someone to fire.

You know what to do – go on, fire away!

The Mozzer

You know who I’m referring to.

The client that’s read a few Moz blog posts and watched a few “Whiteboard Friday” videos on Youtube, and he’s now an industry expert. These people are the worst, and they’re usually always the ones that say things like –

  • “I have an SEM rush account and its given us a quality score of 7
  • “I have access to Ahrefs and it said that I have a toxic link profile that doesn’t sound good”
  • “Rand Fishkin said….”

If ever I get into a discussion like this with an existing client, or on an initial call or enquiry, I usually turn those people away. I don’t need a butcher telling me how do SEO.

In summary

And lastly, in summary. Remember, firing clients isn’t easy, and its not something any of us want to do. But the longer you hold onto these dead weights, the longer you and your business will suffer. Get rid of them and make way for good, decent clients who appreciate you and the value you bring to their business. Whilst the process might be hard, in the end you’ll be much happier for doing so.

Oh and before I forget, “prequalifying” your client for me, typically meant, using my gut instincts during the first meeting and asking myself whether or not I would feel comfortable working with the person. I wasn’t so great at this to begin with, but now I almost always get it right.

5 Reality Checks Before Starting an SEO Business from Home

I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve had someone say to me, “John, you’re so lucky to be working from home. I wish I could do what you do”

All I can do is shake my head.

It might seem like I’m sitting at home eating breakfast cereal and watching cartoons whilst pulling in $5,000 a day, but in reality, it’s far from that.

I often work late, I’m often working weekends, and the isolation of working from home can be enough to do your head in.

So before you start rubbing your hands together thinking it’s going to be all cupcakes and candy canes, here’s 5 of what I would consider the biggest reality checks you need to be aware of before you make the plunge.

Every day is Monday and Sunday

Now that might sound odd, but let me tell you I often forget what day it is, because it’s been nothing but work for days on end, and occasionally I’ll have to actually stop and think about it. “What day is it?” I think once I actually forgot what month it was. But anyway, that’s besides the point. My point is this – when you’re self employed, there are no days off, there are no weekends, there are no public holidays. Even still now, after having run my SEO business I still look at people strangely when they say things like “Awesome, its a long weekend this weekend!”

What?

Not for me it isn’t. It’s just “another day”.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. Some days I might sit in a cafe for an hour and a half, or I might spend some time with my girlfriend shopping, or just go for a drive or hit the gym – whatever. But in the back of my mind, I know I have work to do. So it’s give and take. Yes, you can work your own hours, but that work isn’t going to go away magically. You have deadlines and shit needs to get done, regardless of what day it is. Monday or Sunday.

The isolation can be a killer

Working from home isn’t for everyone.

If you’re the type of person that enjoys a chat in the office with your workmates, then working from home may not be the best option for you. For myself personally, I’m usually pretty good at keeping my own company, but there are definitely days where I just about lose my mind and need to get out of the house – even if it is to a local cafe. Just to see other people and interact.

There have seriously been times where I’ve gone a week straight without leaving the house – and that in itself is bonkers. Honestly, it’s bed, computer, bed, computer, bed, computer. I might break it up by moving about 5 feet to the lounge room and watching some Netflix, but that’s about it. Sometimes I’ll leave the house to go to the supermarket for food and be on my way into the store and need to stop and check to see if I’ve put pants on. That might sound funny, but its true.

You can find yourself living in a bubble if you’re not careful, so before you quit your job, be mindful of it, especially if you live on your own.

Thankfully I have someone living with me, which definitely helps.

You’re entirely financially responsible

I remember someone asking me once, “How do you stay motivated working from home? I’d be too tempted to just sit around watching TV or doing whatever” I said, “I don’t have any issues with motivation, because I know if I stop focusing on what I should be doing, the money stops, and if the money stops, I’ll be back in a shitty job.”

Staying motivated and getting the work done has never been a problem for me, but I could imagine that it might be for others. Being self employed and working from home, you’ve got no one to kick you up the ass if you start slacking. It’s entirely on you to get shit done. Sitting around watching TV or fucking around on Facebook all day is eventually going to catch up with you – so that shit needs to be kept in check.

Don’t get me wrong, I make great money, and I could easily spend most days fucking around, but I know that getting complacent is dangerous, so every now and then I’ll go back over previous leads, and emails etc and put the hammer down.

Ensuring the bank balance is moving in the right direction is vital if you stand any chance of surviving.

It’s always going to be your fault

When you’re working a regular job, it’s easy to point the finger and blame someone else when things go to shit. But when you’re the boss, there’s no one to blame except you.

  • Missed that deadline? It’s your fault.
  • Fucked up someones billing? Its your fault.
  • Forgot you had a meeting scheduled? Its your fault.
  • Client sent you a nasty email? Its your fault.
  • Client cancelled? Its your fault

There’s no one to blame except you.

The pressure of that, along with everything else that goes on with running a business can get stressful, especially when you screw something up big time and have to apologise to a client, or admit to yourself that you really fucked up.

Emotional roller coasters can be exhausting if you’re not careful

I would certainly say that the worst part of being self employed are the emotional highs and lows that come with the job.

There are days where I absolutely love what I do, and other days where everything goes to shit and I want to punch someone in the face. Thankfully those days are fewer now than what they were when I first started, but for someone quitting a comfortable 9-5 job where you don’t have anything to think about once you clock out for the day – running your own business is entirely different.

There are certainly times where you’ll be busy as fuck, where you can barely think, and other times where you’ll wonder if its even worth it at all. Then on the flip side there’ll be times like I had just recently where I cleared $21,500 over a weekend or today when I closed a $9,000 web job.

The best way I can describe it is seriously, an “emotional roller coaster”.

Some people are great at handling the ups and downs. To be honest, Im still learning, but I could only imagine that for some, the massive peaks and troughs that come with being self employed, and working from home, might be enough to have them calling their boss and asking for their old job back.

It’s not all bad

Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, and I certainly wouldn’t swap the lifestyle I have now for anything, but starting and running an SEO business from home can be incredibly challenging, and this is why I offer the services I do – to help people just like you who are thinking of going out on their own.

I remember when I first started. I would’ve given anything to have someone help me get setup without all the mistakes and lost time and money, but that never happened. I had to figure everything out on my own.

Again, its not all bad, and its certainly not as bad as working a shitty job, but if you are thinking of setting up your own SEO gig from home, then you need to be well aware of what’s ahead of you so you know you’re making the right decision.

Here’s How I Close Virtually 100% of My SEO Leads

Closing prospects can be hard, but it doesn’t need to be.

I’ve spent years working on my onboarding processes and have refined it to the point where I’m literally closing every single prospect that makes an enquiry.

So if you’re struggling to close then you’ll get great value out of this one.

Coffees for closers

I spoke with a coaching client recently who said their close rates were roughly 50% and I thought that was a bit unusual. That essentially means that every second enquiry is lost – which tells me that something is surely wrong.

Now before you say “You can’t control who sends an enquiry”, hear me out.

There are definitely measures you can put into place that will help improve your close rates, and weed out the noise.

My guess in this case, was this particular person was getting shit leads, and quite possibly a lot of them were coming in through Google search. In my experience one of the worst places to get SEO leads is through Google. Ironic isn’t it?

Cold SEO leads through Google fucking suck, because they’re always muppets that want $99 a month SEO and they’ll just keep calling places until they get it.

No thanks.

But in any case, that’s not what this blog post is about. Instead, I want to share with you some of the strategies that I use and how I go about closing almost every single lead that I get.

I’m transparent with my pricing

Firstly I’m super transparent with my pricing.

I have my pricing and my rates on my website.

Admittedly this is was a decision that I struggled with for some time. Do I put my prices on my website? What if I do and people think I’m too expensive? What if I don’t get any work? What if they don’t send an enquiry because they can already see my prices before we’ve even spoken.

I reached out to a few other colleagues working in the SEO space and here’s what they recommended “No don’t put your prices on your website you’ll scare people away”

You know what happened?

I kept getting bullshit calls from people with no budget.

  • “Hi can you tell me how much you charge?”
  • “Hi how much do your services cost? Oh okay, I’ll think about it. Bye”
  • “We can’t afford that, we’re looking for something good and cheap”
  • “Sorry too much”

Fuck off.

I’m not interested in working with someone if they’re just price shopping. I’m also not interested in working with someone who wants to make a decision based upon price alone.

They’re just not going to be a good fit for me, and they shouldn’t be a good fit for you either.

I can tell you right now that putting the prices on my website was one of the best things I ever did – because it stopped all of the nonsense. I had no more stupid enquiries from tire kickers asking me to do SEO for $500 a month and expecting results in 2 months.

In addition to that, my rates are a key part of the conversation I have with prospects early on in the discussion.

I’m not interested in sitting on the phone with someone for 2 hours talking about their websites, and data and keywords and search volume and content and everything else unless I’ve covered my rates.

I don’t say that to be arrogant, I say it because there’s a big problem in this industry in that pricing varies so greatly between service providers.

You can be on one website looking at prices and they might be charging $300 a month, then look at another website and they’re charging $4,000 a month. For business owners this is incredibly confusing, and what makes it even worse is that they don’t understand the difference – all they see is the price.

So being completely upfront and transparent with your pricing is always best. Otherwise you’ll end up kissing frogs all day and not getting any decent leads.

I follow a structured onboarding process

I think this part of being able to close leads is the most important.

I follow a structured onboarding process and this is one that I’ve spoken about about at length. Infact I wrote a blog post about it which you can read here which talks about pre qualifying prospects.

I keep what I call a telephone run sheet on my desk that has a set series of questions in it that I like to ask a prospect when they call me.

There’s 2 reasons why I use this run sheet.

  • Firstly to frame the call and stay in control of the conversation.
  • Secondly to ensure a good fit

Let’s look at both.

By framing the call l’m essentially ensuring I have structure to the discussion.

If you’re not careful, you can often find yourself on a call with a prospect talking about all sorts of things, or worse still, finding yourself looking at their site, keywords, data, google analytics and god knows what else, only to have them say “Okay thanks bye”, and you’ll hang up the phone and think “WTF just happened?”

It’s really important that you stay on topic and control the conversation – otherwise you’ll go off on all sorts of tangents. The phone run sheet ensures you do just that. You structure the conversation and stay in control asking set questions, that move you towards closing the lead.

Once I’ve been through the run sheet with the prospect and asked them key questions, (if they’re a good fit) then I’ll move on to my sales pitch and presentation.

I’ve spoken about this before and why sales presentation is much more effective than a PDF proposal. I can tell you right now if you’re still sending PDF proposals then your close rates are going to suck big time.

The whole point of the sales presentation is to help educate the client, demonstrate value, set expectations and answer any questions they might have before you ask for the job. When I host these presentations, the client is usually ready to sign up before I’ve even finished. They work so well, that for anyone not doing them, it’s a massive advantage.

I’m brutally honest

I have a bit of a problem when it comes to speaking with prospects on the phone, in that I’m brutally honest.

Sometimes it’s bordering on being a bit rude.

Not because I’m trying to be an asshole, but because I actually care about getting results, and I want them to understand that up until now, most of what they’ve been told is bullshit.

I find myself on the phone all the time with prospects saying things like –

  • “If you only intend on doing 3 months, then find someone else to work with”
  • “Your website is a mess, you need to fix it, or we can’t work together”
  • “You’re just wasting your time if you expect to pay $500 a month”
  • “This website is probably one of the worst I’ve seen”

Yes, I’ve actually said things like that, and often, there’s been an uncomfortable silence from the other end of the phone.

But look, I’m not interested in sugar coating something that’s fucked, just to sign someone up, only to have problems later on.

I’d much rather just say what needs to be said, right now, and get it out in the open, rather than be having an awkward conversation later about why the campaign isn’t working.

And guess what? It works.

I’ve had clients that have worked with me for years that have said “John, when we first spoke, I didn’t appreciate what you said. It was hard to hear, but looking back, it’s exactly what we needed to hear, and I thank you for it. Our business is killing it now thanks to you being so honest with us right away”

One thing that I make a habit of saying to prospects is this – “Listen, I’m not interested in taking your money unless I know I can get a positive return on investment”

When you’re brutally honest with someone like that it becomes obvious that you’re more interested in actually helping them rather than just asking for their credit card details.

I’ve never considered myself a salesperson, I’m just not interested in bullshitting people. I want to be honest and tell the prospect what they need to hear and if they’re onboard with it, then great – I know I can help them. If they’re not, then I can’t help them and chances are they’ll just bounce from one agency to the next chasing stupid shortcuts.

The bottom line is this – don’t be afraid to be brutally honest if you’re genuinely interested in helping them. They may not appreciate being slapped in the face initially, but long term they’ll thank you for it.

I talk about revenue, not rankings

This is probably why I’ve been able to do so well, when it comes to closing leads.

I talk about revenue, not rankings.

I don’t want clients that are going to obsess over rankings. I don’t want clients that want to call me at 2am asking why they’re now in position 2 when yesterday they were in position 1 – and I make this very clear during our first call.

Instead I’m more interested in the metrics that matter – sales, leads and conversions.

I find when you move the discussion away from rankings, and you start talking about helping business owners get customers and make sales – it’s a massive advantage because chances are they’ve been on the phone all morning with a dozen other SEO companies that have done nothing but talk about fucking keywords, and canonical tags and meta description tags, and site speed and all that technical stuff that business owners couldn’t give a shit about.

So what do I say?

Here’s a few examples of what I might say to a prospect –

  • “Im unlike other SEO agencies in that I want to focus our efforts on helping you get more customers”
  • “There’s no point being first page in Google if your phones not ringing”
  • “I don’t want to spend hours on the phone with you talking about rankings”
  • “I want to get to a point where I can say, Okay Bob, this month you got X number of leads and made Z dollars – not you’re now first page for Fluffy Bunnies, because that’s meaningless”

I talk in a way that resonates with business owners and it works.

What makes it even easier is when you demonstrate how you’ve done this for other businesses.

You can do this very easily, just like I do within a sales presentation where you can show slides of clients that you’ve worked with in the past and how you taken them from $10,000 a month to $100,000 a month. When you approach it this way, signing up new leads at $2,000+ a month is an absolute breeze.

Interested in working with me?

I can show you how you can setup your own highly profitable SEO business, working from home in your underpants just like I do making half a million dollars a year. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch and lets do this.

Less Services, More Money – Stop Trying to Do Everything

Have you ever found yourself on a call with a prospect saying something like this –

  • “Sure I can help you with FB ads”
  • “Yes, I do Adwords”
  • “Yes, we can help you with your email sign up form”
  • “Absolutely we can help with your SEO needs”
  • “We also provide web design and we do stationery too”

Only to then hang up the phone and think “What the fuck did I just do?”

I know when I first started my business that I made this mistake far too many times, simply because I was desperate for clients and needed the money. However it was the worst thing I could’ve done because all it did was cause a lot of never ending problems.

Saying yes all the time can bury you, and it’s a huge problem unless you’re clear about what you do.

Why saying yes to shit you don’t do is stupid

Saying yes to everything that gets thrown at you out of impulse is one thing, but making a conscious decision to try and offer every fucking service possible, is just stupidity – especially if you’re a freelancer or soloist.

I speak with a lot of coaching clients and it amazes me just how busy they are doing meaningless shit.

For example, when I ask them what services they provide, they’ll often reply with a shopping list of options.

They’ll be offering –

  • SEO
  • graphic design
  • email marketing
  • web design
  • social media services
  • FB ads
  • pay per click and on and on and on….

Infact I recall once sitting at a cafe with a freelance web designer who must’ve spent about 5 minutes explaining all the different service offerings she provided. It was absolutely mental. She started with SEO, and after talking in circles, eventually ended up telling me that she also did embroidery.

WTF?

Trying to do everything is going to do your head in.

Be clear about what you do, and don’t do

I talk about this in my SEO coaching because it matters.

If I’m speaking with a client and they ask me, “John can you help build me a logo?” I say no. If they ask me “John can you help setup our email marketing campaign?” I say no. If they ask me “John can you please help us with our Facebook page?” I say no.

Not because I’m trying to be an asshole, but because that’s not what I do.

I do SEO. That’s it.

However I will say this, I always provide a helpful suggestion. I’ll never just leave someone hanging, unless of course it’s a really weird request (I’ve had plenty of those) But in most cases, I’ll send them to someone who I know specialises in what they’re asking for.

And that’s exactly my point.

When you’re clear about what you do – you become known for doing it, and you can specialise in just that one thing.

And not just that, but it allows you to do that one thing well, not a whole range of shit half arsed.

I see so many freelancers in particular that are providing so many services that it makes your head spin. They don’t have any processes in place and they’re just winging it, day in day out.

Do one thing well

As said, early on in my business I made the same mistake.

I found myself scribbling down notes and setting reminders and skipping around in between clients for months before I stepped back and thought “WTF am I doing?”

I stopped and made the decision to get rid of everything except SEO.

Why?

Because that’s what I was good at.

I was hopeless at making logos and setting up email marketing campaigns was about as appealing as licking socks.

But it was interesting, I hadn’t set out to offer any of this other shit – it just happened – and it happened because I kept saying yes to clients without thinking “Yeh, sure no worries, I’ll have a look at it for you”

Fucking stupid.

Go where the money is

What you should do right now is go and look over your service offerings and ask yourself what you can get rid of.

But more importantly ask yourself this – “How many of these services are actually making any money?”

If you’ve got 3 or 4 service offerings and they’re making fuck all, then get rid of them and ramp up your efforts for a service that brings in the money.

Stop mucking around with the small stuff that’s not profitable because that shits noise and it’s holding you back.

Trust me.

Building out a process

If you’re running your SEO business, or whatever it is that you’re doing and you’re not following a set process for every campaign, then you’re going to struggle big time.

Having a process is absolutely vital.

Read that again.

Having a process is absolutely vital.

When you’re providing multiple service offerings, building out a streamlined process can be very difficult because you’ll essentially be jumping from one project to the next, which is going to do your head in.

Now if you’re offering 7 different services, then you’re going to have to think about building out 7 different processes to accommodate each service. Because I know that the process that I follow for web design, is much much different to that of SEO, and I can only guess that the processes are very different again for the likes of social media and FB ads for example.

Now I don’t know about you, but just the thought of that gives me a headache.

When you only have one thing to worry about (or two) then that makes building out a solid, streamlined and efficient process, much easier.

You’ve got much less to think about, and you can actually sit down and invest the time towards building a process that works.

Reduce your services, increase your earnings

One other thing that I should mention is that when I cut back on the amount of services I was providing, I was able to invest more of my time towards the one that mattered, and in turn I was able to charge more – mainly because I could go much deeper on that service offering. I wasn’t just bouncing around all over the place.

In other words, I reduced my service offerings but increased my earnings.

Remember, you want fewer, higher paying clients.

So I would think about positioning yourself as an expert and be known for one particular thing.

Go where the money is and cut all that other shit out.

You’ll be absolutely grateful you did, and wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

Interested in working with me?

I provide private one on one SEO coaching and can help you with just about anything you need. Whether you’re interested in starting your own SEO business, or you’re a business owner and you’d like to learn a bit about SEO so you can do it yourself rather than paying an agency – get in touch.

Im usually always around so don’t be afraid to give me a call or send me an email.

How to Eliminate the Dreaded SEO Campaign Expectations Gap

When it comes to working with clients – one thing I’ve noticed that always varies – are expectations.

Some clients have realistic expectations – they understand that the process takes time. They understand the work involved. They work with us, not against us. They do whatever they can to help and make the process easier. In simple terms, they take on a long term approach when it comes to their online marketing and SEO strategies – whilst other clients unfortunately expect everything to happen in the first week.

This of course isn’t through any fault of their own (although some clients border on just being plain rude) but for most, they just don’t understand the process, and the amount of work that’s needed in order to make things happen. This is why when I get a new client onboard, or I have a prospect send me an enquiry, I always show them my entire SEO process – which outlines every step of a typical campaign, so they know exactly what work is going to be done.

In this article, I’m going to be looking a bit closer at those processes, and in particular focus on the dreaded “SEO expectations gap”, which can mean the difference between a highly successful campaign, where everything “just works” and a campaign that fails completely – usually ending in the client wanting too much too soon, and the campaign is stopped because results didn’t come quick enough.

Okay, lets have a look firstly, at a typical 12 month SEO campaign, and how it looks over time. To show you this example, I’m going to use the following chart, with each section broken down into numerical stages. See below.

Be mindful that this is just a rough guide, and that every campaign is different.

Typical SEO campaign

Okay, so what does this graphic tell us?

As you can see, I’ve added some numbers here to represent what I think are some key stages in the process. Let’s have a closer look at each one.

  1. As you can see, during the first month, nothing much seems to happen at all. This is pretty normal, however be mindful that I am not speaking on behalf of other agencies. It should be noted here that rankings generally tend to take time. In my experience, the faster you get rankings, the quicker you lose them. The first month is usually always the slowest, and this is where impatient clients blow it because they want to see results too soon.
  2. The next stage of the process is almost always very volatile with quite a lot going on. As you can see in the diagram, during this stage of the process, rankings and the overall performance of the clients website might be bouncing around all over the place – again, this is normal and to be expected.
  3. As you can see during this stage of the campaign, there begins an upward trend, things are definitely starting to head in the right direction – but overall, fluctuations are still present, and a little bit unstable with the chart sort of once again, bouncing around up and down all over the place. This is pretty typical.
  4. Okay, number 4, and by this stage of the campaign, we’re well into it. Infact by 6 to 7 months in, we should really starting to be making some considerable advances. Not only in terms of rankings, but by now, conversions should be killing it, enquiries should be coming in, rankings and traffic should be up, the website should be performing in all areas, and the client should be getting a huge return on investment.
  5. Alright, this is where the campaign is seriously established – almost a year in – and the client is dominating the space of which they operate in. By now, traffic, rankings, conversions, sales, leads, and every other aspect of the website should be well and truly refined and performing at maximum capacity. This is where the client really gets the best returns, and so long as they continue on with the guidance they have received from us – they will continue to do so, well into the future. Even after their campaign finishes.

Now let’s have a look at how some clients might see the same process.

Here’s what a typical campaign might look like to many clients

Again on this graph, as I did on the previous one, I’ve added in some numbers on key stages throughout the campaign. However in this case, these are stages as seen by a lot of clients. Let’s go through them.

  1. The initial stage. Most clients understand that nothing is going to happen straight out of the box, but *something* should be happening. In a lot of cases, (especially for impatient clients) they get twitchy and start sending silly emails and phone calls daily – sometimes numerous times a day asking, “Where are we up to?”, “What’s going on?”. Infact I’ve had clients that do this – even though I’ve explained the process to them, and it’s quite annoying. For clients that do this, I know they’ll never stick around long enough to see numbers 4 and 5 on the previous diagram, which is a real shame.
  2. By the second month things should be moving towards the “definite” on the chart. You’ll notice that there’s no signs of fluctuation either. No dips or flatlines – just a steady upward trend.
  3. After 3 months things should definitely be hauling ass – and if they’re not, many clients are on the blower, calling with comments such as, “What’s going on?”, “How much longer?”, “I’m thinking about cancelling and going somewhere else”, etc etc. Again, you’ll notice that according to the way a lot of clients see it – things should only be moving up, not sideways, or down – EVER.
  4. And finally, the checkered flag. By 4 months or soon afterwards (certainly by 6 months or so) many clients think the race has been won, and because they’re at the top of Google for a handful of terms that the campaign is done, and that they never have to worry about any form of online marketing ever again. They’re going to be first in Google forever. So wrong.

Let’s now overlap the two charts.

The dreaded ‘SEO expectations’ gap

As you can see, there is a huge discrepancy between the two graphs. This is what unfortunately leads to a lot of clients feeling let down, a lot of SEO professionals feeling frustrated, or both.

How can this problem be solved?

The best way to solve the problem is to prevent it from happening, right from the outset.

When working with clients, I provide them with as much information as possible, including a complete overview of our process and what’s involved and typical timelines. Of course, there are no guarantees, but I feel the more information you provide to the client, the better. In simple terms, setting expectation levels early is essential to prevent any issues either during a campaign or afterwards. On the other hand, clients need to understand that any form of online marketing takes time – just as any form of marketing does.

SEO is not instant.

I generally avoid clients that say, “If we don’t see any results after 3 months, then we’ll cancel”. Instead, I’m more than happy to help clients that say, “We’re looking at improving the performance of our website by 30% within 8 months”. That’s not because I want to try and make as much money as possible – it’s simply because I know I will have enough time to be able to actually help them.

You don’t walk into a gym and say, “If I don’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in 3 months, I’m cancelling my membership”. That would be ridiculous.

In summary

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, is that nothing destroys an SEO campaign quicker than the dreaded SEO expectations gap. Be sure to fill it early on.

How to Deal with Clients that Dont Fucking Pay

I’m going to preface this entry by firstly saying this.

If you’re in this position where a client owes you money, then its’ your fault.

Not the client, it’s yours.

Now before you punch the screen or send me a nasty email – hear me out.

I’ve been doing this a long fucking time, and it just amazes me how many coaching clients, SEO freelancers and even people running agencies that I speak to that are working for free. That might sound ridiculous but it’s what I see time and time again.

Infact, I got off a call this morning from someone who was owed a whopping $32,000 in outsanding invoices.

Madness.

Why it happens

There’s probably a number of reasons why this happens. It could be a lack of a contract, it might be a crap client, it could be the simple fact that you don’t have smart processes in place to prevent this shit from happening in the first place, but in any case, its stupid – and it needs to stop.

Here’s a few of the main reasons why I think people end up in this position.

Lack of confidence

This would definitely be the biggest one.

Most people (especially freelance SEOs) lack fucking confidence. They’ll get on a call with me and they’ll say –

  • “I don’t want to upset the client”
  • “I’m worried that I’ll lose the client”
  • “I’m just not confident asking for payment up front when I haven’t done any work”

You have a choice.

You can sit there hoping you’ll get paid, or you can get some balls and start demanding clients fucking pay you.

Fear

This is other one – fear.

  • “John, I need the money, I can’t upset this client incase he cancels”
  • “No, I’m not going to demand full payment in advance, because that’s too pushy”

Let me tell you this – while you’re sitting at home worrying about whether or not you’ve upset the client, they’re doing backstroke in a swimming pool full of fucking hundred dollar bills enjoying life.

Stop being scared because it’s keeping you broke.

Pushy or demanding clients

I’ve had clients over the years push me around and eventually I got to the point of saying “no more”.

Not simply because it’s not good for business, but it’s just not good for your mental health – especially if they’re causing a great deal of stress.

Clients that constantly email, call and ask for lengthy meetings are often the worst to deal with, and they’re usually the ones that are late with payment.

If you’re dealing with a client at the moment and they’re sending you emails with –

  • “Hey can you do this real quick?”
  • “You don’t need to invoice me for that do you?”
  • “Shouldn’t that be included in the original quote?”
  • “I didn’t think I’d have to pay for that?”

…then it might be time to get rid of them.

Lack of a process

This is usually the main reason why people end up in this position.

They’ll take any prospect on, and just jump into a campaign, not having covered anything. So the client ends up not knowing –

  • How the payment process works
  • When payments are due
  • How they actually make payment

Believe it or not I’ve worked with coaching clients that are asking their clients to pay them via Paypal “when its’ convenient”.

Ridiculous.

How to fix this shit – fast

Chances are, you’ve either experienced this problem, or you’re sitting there right now thinking “Fuck, this client owes me $9,000, and I’m dead broke – what the hell am I going to do?”

I’m not going to sugar coat this.

I’m going to give it to you straight, so take this advice, act on it, and quit fucking around.

Email or call all of your clients right now

Get in touch with all of your clients and do the following –

  • Inform them (politely) that there are no more “pay later” options
  • All payments must be made in advance before work is commenced
  • Any outstanding invoices are to be fixed up immediately

Now look, chances are you’re going to have some shitty clients come back and say “This is unfair”.

You need to be mindful that once you’ve let the dog sleep on the couch, then it can be real hard to keep the dog outside. In other words, you’ve subconsciously trained your clients to take advantage of you – and that needs to stop.

Say this to anyone that complains – “Listen Kate, I understand this might be frustrating and its not what we agreed to, but I have to do whats right for my business. Unfortunately we have too many clients taking advantage of our payment options (either late or non payment) which has led to us having no choice but to take this action”

If they want to cancel out, then let them go – chances are they’re a dead weight anyway.

Focus on your clients that value you and your services, instead of trying to “haggle” with lolly scramblers.

Stop letting clients walk all over you

The other thing you need to do is – stop letting clients walk all over you.

Get some fucking balls.

If a client hasn’t paid you, or they’re constantly late with payment then do something about it.

Tell them. Send an email. Get on a call.

Say “Listen, this months invoice is outstanding, can you please take care of it?”

Make them aware that –

  • No work is going to be done unless the invoice is paid
  • A 10% late fee may apply if they’re constantly late with payment

But remember, be firm, but be fair.

I don’t have a problem jumping on a call with a client and asking “Hey, what’s going on? Is there a problem, if so, can I help, or can we work something out here so that we’re not having this awkward conversation each month”

Offer to help, but be mindful that this is business.

Don’t get sucked into helping someone out, or doing them a favour because their fucking cat died.

Get paid first

I cant stress this one enough.

Write it down.

GET. PAID. FIRST.

There is absolutely no reason why, you should be sitting there doing SEO on a clients site if they haven’t paid you. The same goes for web design.

I just can’t believe how many people are sitting there at their desks, banging away for hours, days or even weeks on end, without being paid. It’s mental.

It’s all based around fucking hope.

  • “I hope they pay me”

Fucks sake, knock it off.

Get paid first.

I don’t do anything, until the invoice is paid.

So I send the invoice, and remind the client that work will start once payment is received.

  • I don’t want logins
  • I’m not interested in looking over their site
  • I don’t want a list of 50,000 keywords
  • I’m not interested in spending hours assessing data or metrics

I want payment.

Once payment is received, then fantastic, I’ll do whatever I can to help the client as best I can.

But I’m sure as hell not going to sit here working for nothing, and neither should you.

Stop doing small shit for free

It’s easy to think “Oh I’ll just do this now, it won’t take long”

But guess what?

2 things will happen –

  • It either ends up taking much longer than you expected, OR
  • They’ll send another 5 “quick tasks” for you to do 10 minutes later

This is never good because it encourages that “John will do this for me, it’s cool” mindset – and that’s shit.

All these small tasks add up.

5 minutes here. 10 minutes there. Then half an hour, a day – a week.

Next thing you know, you realise you’ve spent about 6 weeks doing small shit for nothing.

Pro tip – if a client makes continual requests that are outside the scope of the agreement then sell them prepaid blocks of time. In other words, when they email you and ask “Hey can you do this real quick?” You reply with a link and say “Sure, follow this link, purchase 5 hours and as soon as payment clears I’ll take care of it”

This way you can sell blocks of prepaid time in advance, and you’re not fucking around with small shit for free.

When you do this, one of two things will happen –

  • The client buys the time, you get paid and you do the work, deducting time as they use it up
  • The client doesn’t pay and you don’t do anything.

Simple.

Be upfront with your pricing and rates

I’ve spoken about this at length, and I often joke around by telling people “I’m expensive” when they ask for my help – but to some degree, I mean it.

Not because I’m trying to be a smart ass, but because I want to get that discussion out of the way now, not later after having wasted time with someone that isn’t serious about doing business.

For whatever reason, a lot of freelancers aren’t comfortable when it comes to talking about what they charge. They’re also scared of offending or upsetting the client.

Infact I had a discussion today with someone who said “Yeah, I’m really not comfortable saying that, I’m just trying to be kind so I don’t upset them.”

Not upsetting them?

They owe you $12,000.

I’d be ready to strangle someone, not concerning myself with whether or not they might get upset.

But keep my advice in perspective. You don’t have to be sending Jimmy Smalls around to bust some knee caps. You can get paid and still be kind without upsetting anyone. You’ve just got to be upfront and straight forward with your pricing, and payment processes right away.

Nothing gets done until payment is received

Here’s a line you can use. I use it all the time.

“Sounds great (clients name), I’ll send you an invoice now, and as soon as payment is received we can get started”

This puts it back on the client and reminds them in an indirect, friendly manner that nothing is going to happen, until they make payment.

And lastly…..

Stop putting the clients business ahead of your own

Years ago I was sitting in on a meeting and heard the expression, “Yeah, I’m really not interested in destroying my business in order to save yours”.

That was a business associate who was being haggled down on price for a very large web project. We both walked out of there, and as confusing as that meeting ended, I knew he had guts to say it, and walk out.

If you’re constantly trying to save everyone elses business, whilst jeapordising your own – you wont be in business for long.

Every time you agree to something you shouldn’t is another day closer to having to tell your clients “I’m sorry, but I’m closing the business” and that’s not fair for clients that value your services and are doing the right thing by you.

Interested in working with me?

I help freelancers and small digital marketing agencies get their shit together in terms of teaching them internal SEO business processes so that they can make more money and have less hassles.

If you’re a freelancer, or the director of a marketing firm and you’d like to have a chat with me, then get in touch.

Even if we don’t end up working together, I’m sure we’ll have a few laughs.